A recurring theme likely to manifest in my posts is that I’m old, bitter, and, if I had a lawn, I’d want these stretched-lobed whippersnappers to get the fuck off of it immediately. I’m not trying to say that things were better back in my day… but if we’re speaking objectively, they definitely were. Especially when it comes to drums in metal.
Now that our fear of imperfection has eliminated the drummer’s groove by snapping every hit to the grid, disregarded their tone by replacing all their hits with samples, and crushed all dynamics through excessive compression/limiting, what do we have left but glorified drum machines? Do drummers even have personalities anymore? (If you know any drummers you already know the answer to this) Can anyone even tell modern drummers apart from one another?
Back in my day, not only did drummers have to carry their drums on their back as they walked 5 miles uphill through snow to the studio, they also had to *GASP* actually play songs all the way through in order to achieve a final take. Not just get ‘close enough’ for the producer/engineer to fix later. ‘Recording’ songs has given way to ‘constructing’ songs and what’s been lost is the sound of a human being absolutely destroying a drumkit in a room. It may not be “perfect” but imperfection is what makes it human.
With this in mind, let’s talk about one of the best metal drum performances/productions to ever be released… After the jump!
Corrosion of Conformity‘s criminally underrated 1991 masterpiece: ‘Blind.’ Sandwiched between COC’s crossover and southern rock eras lies (IMO) their magnum opus. ‘Blind’ was a perfect storm of great songwriting, killer performances, and top-notch production. It lives comfortably in my all time top 10 metal albums and is in no danger of being replaced on that list.
This is what a great drummer sounds like in a room. I’ll put this recording up against Chris Adler, Gene Hoglan, or any of the other robot drummers people currently idolize any day.
Karl’s vocals don’t quite hold up in this live performance, but holy crap Reed Mullin rips my face off from behind the kit!
If you’ve somehow managed to miss out on this album, I recommend you have your lobes repaired and neck tattoos removed so you look like less of a moron, and then listen to this album on repeat until you understand its greatness.
If you STILL don’t understand how a great drummer grooves, I’m just gonna have to let Berny ‘splain it to ya…. pssshhhh…